Mike Kelly's Hat Trick Powers Ice Hockey Over Salem State, 5-2

Mike Kelly's Hat Trick Powers Ice Hockey Over Salem State, 5-2

SALEM, Mass. – Behind four-point efforts by both senior Mike Kelly (Stoneham, Mass.) and junior Casey Shea (Woburn, Mass.), the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth triumphed over Salem State on the road for the first time since 2013, dealing the Vikings a 5-2 loss at Rockett Arena on Thursday.

The Basics

Score: UMass Dartmouth 5, Salem State 2
Records: UMass Dartmouth (15-8-0, 10-6-0 MASCAC) | Salem State (11-9-3, 10-4-2 MASCAC) 

How it Happened

Salem State scored late in the first period for the early advantage before the Corsairs unleashed a trio of goals in the second to take control of the pace. Kelly evened the score just under two minutes into the stanza after junior Mike Sones (Waterdown, Ont.) forced a turnover in the neutral zone. Sones sent the puck to Shea who fed Kelly across the goal mouth, and the senior captain tipped it between the legs of Salem State goalkeeper Jason Pucciarelli (Newmarket, Ont.). 

UMass Dartmouth then stole control, unleashing back-to-back shorthanded goals on the same Salem State power play in the closing minutes of the period. Kelly registered his second goal following the breakout pass from Jerry Laakso (Tampere, Finland), going low glove-side to deliver the lasting lead, and Matt Baldino (Woburn, Mass.) tallied less than a minute later after forcing a defensive zone turnover and breakaway. 

The Vikings challenged early in the final frame, when Dan Holland (Woburn, Mass.) delivered his own shorthanded score just eight seconds out of the puck drop. Again, Kelly silenced the momentum in a flash, this time on the power-play less than two minutes later to achieve the hat trick. Shea then dealt the deciding blow as the Corsair man-advantage continued 32 ticks later on helpers from Kelly and Baldino. 

Inside the Numbers

  • UMass Dartmouth junior Drew Michals (Newton, Mass.) turned aside 31 shots in the full 60 minutes to pick up the victory. 
  • Pucciarelli finished with 23 saves for the host Vikings. 
  • With a pair of shorthanded goals, UMass Dartmouth ups its nation-leading total to 13 on the season, three man-down goals ahead of MASCAC foe Plymouth State.
  • Thursday's victory snaps Salem State's four-game win streak over UMass Dartmouth, who last defeated the Vikings in overtime on Nov. 21, 2015. During that streak, Salem State outscored the Corsairs by a total of 20-9.
  • Kelly's trifecta of goals marks the third Corsair hat trick on the season and the first since Baldino scored three against Westfield State on Nov. 12.
  • The combination of Kelly, Shea, and Baldino accounted for 10 of UMass Dartmouth's 13 points on the contest.
  • With a pair of power play points on Thursday, Shea now owns 13 such points on the season and jumps ahead of Westfield State's Jackson Leef for the highest total in MASCAC competition.
  • Kelly now sits atop the MASCAC statistical rankings with six shorthanded points and tied for third nationally with four shorthanded goals.

Up Next

UMass Dartmouth wraps up its home schedule as they host Fitchburg State on Saturday for Senior Day, and will honor its four seniors prior to puck drop at 4 p.m.